Caution is crucial when disposing of CFL's

Have you ever wondered what to do with your old Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL’s)  The Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA) encourages all South Africans to make use of proper disposal facilities to dispose of CFL’s as they contain small quantities of mercury as vapour inside the glass tubing and are therefore classified as hazardous waste.

The use of CFL’s as opposed to incandescent light bulbs is very much on the increase, especially as we all attempt to conserve energy and minimise our electricity bills.  Stan Jewaskiewitz, President of IWMSA says “Along with this fairly new and more energy efficient product, comes a new set of waste management challenges.”  He continues, “The IWMSA supports the City of Cape Town’s initiative to create an awareness of the proper disposal of CFLs.  The City wants people to be aware that CFL’s contain small amounts of mercury, which is poisonous, and as such should not be thrown away with one’s regular domestic waste, NOR should they be included in recycling bins or bags.  Thoughtlessly throwing CFL’s out with everyday garbage poses a serious hazardous waste problem at landfills and waste incinerators, where the mercury from these lamps could be released if they are broken, resulting in air and water pollution.”

Where can you take your used CFL’s?  Fortunately many citizens have easy access to drop-off points at their local PicknPay and Woolworths retail outlets, where specifically marked bins are situated for this purpose.  CFL’s need to be kept separate from other refuse, safely stored, preferably in their original packaging, and correctly disposed of at a drop-off/collection point or approved hazardous waste facility.   It is VERY IMPORTANT not to break or damage CFL’s at all.  As an indication of how careful one should be, in the recycling process, CFL’s need to be crushed in an especially designed machine that uses negative pressure ventilation and a mercury-absorbing filter to contain mercury vapor.

Another everyday item to remember is the household battery which is also accepted by PicknPay in the same manner – a marked bin from where they are collected for safe disposal and recycling.  Batteries should most certainly not be thrown out with your domestic refuse since they contain equally hazardous elements.  It is essential that everyone takes responsibility for disposing of these relatively small domestic items in the proper way.

In the event of breakage of a CFL, special care must be taken to clean up and contain mercury and glass shards after which they should be contained in a plastic bag for correct disposal.  If transporting a quantity of these lamps, as with any other hazardous waste materials, please contact an approved hazardous waste management company for advice.

Eskom has developed a comprehensive brochure regarding CFL’s, including correct disposal and advice on cleaning up broken fluorescent lamps.  This brochure can be downloaded from their website or viewed via the IWMSA’s website,

The IWMSA provides education and training for its members, you can network and exchange information with like-minded individuals, and even have your voice heard in the formulation of legislation.

The IWMSA is a professional, multi-disciplinary organisation with voluntary membership established to promote the science and practice of waste management and is a non-profit organisation. For more information, contact the IWMSA visit:

Carbon Tax – a viable option for the transport sector?

We will face an average temperature increase of more than 2°C this century if greenhouse-gas emissions continue to rise at its current pace, stated an International Panel on Climate Change. The transport sector as the second largest greenhouse gas emitter is responsible for 13.1% of all global emissions.

Ways need to be found to curb the high greenhouse gas emitted within the transport sector. According to Brent Cloete, Head of Climate Change Practice at DNA Economic, one of the measures to be considered to meet ambitious national targets for greenhouse gas reductions from this sector, is carbon tax.

The likely impact of a carbon tax on the transport sector in South Africa needs to be examined and will be explored by Cloete at the upcoming Sustainable Transport and Mobility Conference, which will be taking place on 20 and 21 September 2011 in Gauteng.

The Conference will provide a dynamic platform for education and discussion regarding sustainable transport practices, pressing issues as well as providing a platform to discuss the latest technologies and designs. The two day conference will bring together delegates, speakers and exhibitors who recognise the need to incorporate sustainable transport practices and who have identified the economic benefits of such a move. Other issues that will be discussed at the conference will be ways of greening the transport system, international case studies of increasing mobility and access, as well as reducing the impact of freight.

This premier event, organised by Alive2green, is part of the official build-up to the 17th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP17) taking place in Durban later this year.

For more information contact:

Cara-Dee Carlstein at 021 447 4733 or email and visit

Keeping e-Waste out of landfills in Cape Town

The e-Waste Alliance (eWA), together with the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA) is delighted to announce its third public e-Waste Collection Drive that will be taking place on Saturday 24 September 2011.  In a bid to substantially reduce hazardous e-Waste getting landfilled, the public is encouraged to bring any type of e-Waste to the offices of Engineering and Environmental Consulting firm “Jeffares & Green” (J&G), at 14 Central Square in Pinelands between 09h00 and 16h00.

What is e-Waste?  e-Waste is any unwanted equipment such as computers, printers, fax machines, cell phones, toasters, microwaves, ink and toner cartridges, or any other electrical or electronic goods or direct parts thereof.  Everything in the home or at the workplace that is driven by electricity, including battery operated toys, falls into this category.

Susanne Dittke, IWMSA Western Cape committee member says, “As a result of the ever-increasing desire for newer, smaller, and faster technology, waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) is now one of the fastest growing waste streams in the world”.

Toxic or hazardous substances in electronic waste are typically found to be heavy metals such as lead, mercury and cadmium, amongst others.  Electronics also contain small amounts of gold, silver, copper, platinum - all precious metals that are in finite supply, along with plastic, lead containing monitor glass and other metals.  Dittke continues, “Apart from being essential to keep as much hazardous waste as possible out of landfills, reuse of materials reduces the need to deplete precious resources.”  Dittke went on to assure us that “All the e-waste collected, will be re-furbished and repaired if possible (recovery of function), otherwise dismantled for re-use or recycling (recovery of materials), and all items will be handled according to integrated waste management principles, in the most environmentally safe manner.”

eWA is calling on households and businesses to drop off any type of e-waste for free, while enjoying demonstrations about the services, products and projects offered by eWA and its members.  The collection will be overseen and organized by the eWA members, ECYCLE and eR e-Waste Rescue, with support from the IWMSA and J&G.  There will be the showcasing of some Waste2 Art products and the opportunity for curious children and adults to learn how to dismantle a PC hard-drive.  Additionally, a raffle will be held with the great prize of a refurbished PC (HP with Dual Core & HD graphics), sponsored by Just PC’s and e-Waste2Art products for the second and third prizes.

Dittke is passionate about the role of the eWA and the IWMSA in creating awareness around e-Waste and says, “eWA provides a constructive solution to the problems associated with the disposal of electronic waste. It can often be given a second lease life for use elsewhere, or through the recovery of materials and unique components, and can lead to the creation of entrepreneurship opportunities through the development of new skills.”

The IWMSA is a professional, multi-disciplinary organisation with voluntary membership established to promote the science and practice of waste management and is a non-profit organisation. For more information contact the IWMSA visit:

PenBev recognised as a Top Employer

Parow, Western Cape - Peninsula Beverage Company (PenBev), an independent local bottler licenced by The Coca-Cola Company to manufacture and distribute The Coca-Cola range of products in the Western and Northern Cape have been rated as one of the top 10 Best Employers in South Africa for 2011/12 by the CRF Institute in its annual Best Employers Certification Index.

The ranking, which was released in Johannesburg earlier this week, is a unique international Human Resources (HR) policy and practice benchmarking project conducted by the CRF Institute South Africa and is the culmination of months of rigorous research with findings independently audited by Grant Thornton South Africa. This year, a total of 69 organisations were listed

PenBev constantly strives to ensure that its 1090 employees have the right skills to respond and overcome the complexity introduced by an expanding beverage market. “Longevity and sustainability feature highly on the company’s agenda; PenBev’s long-term view focuses on growth,” reveals HR Director Bryn Morse. One of the benefits of this strategy is that there is a huge amount of reinvestment into the organisation.

PenBev goes to great lengths to ensure that new recruits ‘fit’ into the organisation; this is reflected in the fact that the average length of service at PenBev in excess of ten years. The company spends more than 4% of its payroll on developing people.

In order to maintain PenBev’s unique culture, the company has a huge focus on management development and utilises Western Cape Business Schools for specialised programs. PenBev is acutely aware of the shortage of leaders in the South African economy. It has therefore started its own ‘internal MBA’, a one-year programme to develop leaders within the organisation and give them ‘context and the mental framework to make decisions’. The aim is to develop competent, caring leaders able to lead and manage with integrity.

When it comes to remuneration and other benefits, Morse says the company is ’way ahead of the market’ particularly at the shop-floor level. Bursaries are offered to all staff members while their children are offered bursaries for secondary and tertiary education.

‘Walk the Talk’ is central to PenBev’s culture – whether it is treating employees and customers as number one.

Regarding BBBEE, PenBev is a Level 4 contributor. It supports owner-drivers, retailers and traders and gives Spaza shops advice on making their businesses more profitable. Every year the company invests in community projects with their view to longevity and sustainability. Each of PenBev’s five centres and individual department also adopt CSI projects. PenBev is part of Coca-Cola’s global campaign to make a positive difference in the world to ensure sustainability. In Africa the campaign slogan is ‘Live for a Difference.’

Managing Director, Stuart McLeod concludes, “From the start, our mantra has been to ‘treat people as number one’, believing that if we do that, they in turn will provide the best service to our customers and consumers.”

Congratulations to Microsoft SA (Pty) Ltd for being the overall winner in the Best Employer 2011/12. The other top ten winners in descending order were: Accenture SA (Pty) Ltd, SAP South Africa (Pty) Ltd, Unilever SA, Ernst & Young, Vodacom Group Limited, Netcare Limited, Peninsula Beverage Company, Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs Inc. and Procter & Gamble SA (Pty) Ltd.

For more information on Best Employers 2011, organisations can contact, 021 425 0320 or visit For more information on PenBev contact 021 936 5500 or visit

Waste Recycling Facts and Tips

Recycling is an important component of protecting the environment and helping conserve resources and energy, preserves valuable landfill space and supports a healthy environment.

As recycling is becoming second nature to most, the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA) shares a few lessons when it comes to recycling. Steve Kalule, IWMSA Eastern Cape Branch Chairman says, “As a partner in the community, the IWMSA is committed to helping the communities we serve to keep their environment clean through promoting innovative recycling programs. Recycling is an easy way to protect our environment and ensure the well-being of our community for generations to come.  However, the success of recycling depends on the active participation of every member of the community. By participating, people will be reducing the amount of trash that is disposed in the landfill, encouraging the reuse of materials made from recycled products and continuing the recycling circle.”

The IWMSA have prepared a few facts and tips when it comes to recycling:

Aluminium and Steel cans – South Africa has a 70% recycling rate when it comes to steel and aluminium cans (source: Collect-a-Can). For every one ton of aluminium cans recycled, 14,000 kWh of energy is saved, 6295 litres of oil is saved and 14.5265 cubic meters of landfill space is saved (which is equivalent to the size of a minibus taxi). When recycling steel cans, make sure that they are washed; clean cans fetch a better price at buy-back centres than dirty cans.

Cardboard can be recycled by removing all other materials in the box such as plastic wrap, polystyrene peanuts and other packing materials. Cardboard boxes need to be broken down to save storage space and if possible cardboard should be kept dry and free from food waste. However, cardboard can get wet and still be recycled but is more difficult to carry due to the added weight of the water. For every ton of cardboard that is recycled it helps save about 174.12 litres of oil.

Glass can be recycled by rinsing the containers with water and keeping them clean. Labels on glass containers do not have to be removed because they are removed during the crushing process and burned off during the melting process. It is important not to break the glass and mixing broken colours as this will make the glass unacceptable for recycling. Space wise, 1.52 cubic meters of landfill space (this is the size of an average refrigerator) is saved for every ton of glass that would be recycled.

Examples of paper that can be recycled include magazines and catalogues, telephone books, direct mail, brochures, pamphlets and booklets in addition to cereal, cake, chip and cracker boxes. It is important to remove the liner and all food from the box, flatten the box and place flattened box in a paper sack with your junk mail, mixed paper, magazines and catalogues. Although most paper can be recycled there is also non-recyclable paper such as tissue, waxed and carbon paper. An estimated 17 trees are saved and 26497.8 liters of water for each ton of paper that is recycled.

Plastic containers that can be recycled include cold drink bottles, cooking-oil bottles and peanut-butter jars, milk, water and juice bottles, bleach and detergent bottles, margarine tubs and some grocery bags. All food packaging, cling-wrap, carryout bags and heavy-duty bags can also be recycled. For containers one needs to remove plastic tops from the plastic containers being recycled and containers should be rinsed with water. Crushing the containers will help save space while storing them and recycling a ton of plastic helps save 5,774 kWh of energy.

For more helpful hints, contact the IWMSA.

The IWMSA is a professional, multi-disciplinary organisation with voluntary membership established to promote the science and practice of waste management and is a non-profit organisation. For more information visit

Waste Management Facilities – The New Order

The Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA)’s Landfill Interest Group (LIG) in KwaZulu-Natal, proudly announces its Ninth Biennial Seminar on Landfills, Landfill 2011, to be held from 18 – 20 October 2011 at Docklands Hotel, Durban.  The LIG is dedicated to capacity building and technology transfer in the science and practice of waste disposal by landfill.

The prime focus of modern waste management lies in reducing the amount of waste going into landfill sites however, the application of this strategy is slow in coming about. Existing landfills, of which there are approximately 1,200 in South Africa at present, are being scrutinised ever more closely and the development of new facilities is becoming increasingly challenging as the old ones are filled up.  Stan Jewaskiewitz, President of IWMSA says “Reducing waste to landfill is essential, however, landfilling and landfill treatment facilities are set to remain an important waste management option into the foreseeable future.”

Landfill facilities, now more appropriately known as ‘waste management facilities’, remain plagued by many problems related to technology, including leachate and biogas emissions.  The LIG Landfill Seminar series is designed to create a low-cost forum where a high standard of knowledge transfer may be experienced – with the focus firmly on landfill issues and new technologies rather than on waste management in general.

The themes for Landfill 2011 will include design, construction, and operation of landfills on challenging environments including landfill barrier design and performance. Landfill policy and legislation, is a key topic that will be discussed and guidelines for both National and Provincial regulation and planning requirements will form part of the discussions. Sustainable landfill concepts for municipal and hazardous waste; landfill processes and emissions including leachate and gas management and waste mechanics will also be discussed during the Seminar. Other important themes include landfill remediation, aftercare and reuse as well as investigating alternative technologies.

Delegates attending Landfill 2011 can look forward to a keynote address by Kelvin Legge, Chief Engineer, Integrated Environmental Engineering of the South African Department of Water Affairs.  Legge is an international authority on fluid migration through soils and geosynthetic materials, and appropriate contaminant containment standards for the new national revised waste classification system. Legge’s focus at the Seminar will be on the new landfill classification system which will have a direct impact on all stakeholders that are involved with landfills.

Also on offer is a half-day workshop on lining design and landfill stability which will be facilitated by an international expert on the subject, Richard Thiel of Thiel Engineering, California. The cost of bringing Thiel to South Africa has been sponsored by the LIG’s partners, the Geosynthetics Interest Group of South Africa (GIGSA), thus assisting the LIG to adhere to its mandate of providing affordable specialist landfill seminars.

Landfill 2011 aims to continue the highly successful seminar series as run over the last 18 years by the IWMSA LIG and in 2011 this event has been made possible by a generous grant from Messrs Barloworld Equipment.

For further information regarding Landfill 2011 and for registration and bookings, please contact Megan Nortjé on 031 767 1903 or 082 448 5961, or email

The IWMSA is a professional, multi-disciplinary and non-profit oriented organisation with voluntary membership established to promote the science and practice of waste management. For more information contact the IWMSA visit:

The sustainability of industrial packaging in a regulated environment

Environmental policies and regulations have a strong impact on future packaging trends. A sustainable environment is important for the public, industry and Government which in turn contributes to a healthy economy; but it is essential that all industrial packaging meets current packaging legislation. The Responsible Packaging Management Association of Southern Africa (RPMASA)’s role is to help members operate in an appropriately regulated market place to maximise competitiveness.

Industrial Packaging is designed and manufactured to specifications for the different risk classes of chemicals and industrial products to be safe and secure in transport and use worldwide. All packaging used for dangerous substances or products containing substances with UN numbers must be performance tested and certified by an accredited packaging test laboratory as per the United Nations Model regulations and is permanently marked with the manufacturers specific certification markings confirming specification, date and factory of manufacture. Similarly reprocessed packaging should be the correct specification for use, be tested and bear the reprocessors registration mark in addition to the original manufacturer’s marks.

Packaging is vital to modern systems of production, distribution and consumption. The packaging industry has been under pressure for more than 20 years to reduce the environmental impacts of its products. South Africa has a significant threat in the reprocessing market through the frequent purchase of incorrect specification packaging which cannot be reused hence unnecessary waste, and the direct scrap of perfectly good, re-useable drums and Intermediate bulk containers (IBCs), which is wasteful, increases resource and energy use, and carbon footprint to the detriment of our environment.

Making use of the correct specification is vital to reduce risks to people and the environment during handling, storage and transport of products as well as to contribute to sustainable use of resources and reduced carbon footprint.

“RPMASA members now have a significant opportunity to help people reduce their overall environmental footprint by choosing packaging companies that comply with regulations,’’ says Liz Anderson, President of the RPMASA. “Most importantly we applaud members who are already using regulated companies for their commitment to the waste hierarchy and environmental sustainability.”

Anderson continued, “With the emergence of regulatory requirements to address extended producer responsibility and other environmental packaging legislation currently in the pipeline, this is a critical time for our industry to join the RPMASA initiatives to offer a compelling voice. Purchase of the correct specification package results in resource, energy and cost savings as well as reduced risk and liability.”

For more information about the RPMASA and membership organisations can log on

Notes to Editors

The RPMASA is part of a network of organizations’ around the world that follow the entire lifecycle of Industrial packaging. RPMASA addresses economic, legal and regulatory concerns associated with drum and container use and reuse, as well as uplifting the standard of drum reconditioning through global best practice. It has a seat on the UN Committees of Experts for Transport of dangerous goods and the GHS, National Standards Committees and the Waste Act Steering committee to assist members, and bring best practice to our industries.

What will be the future of waste pickers in South Africa?

“Waste pickers are not fighting for the right to be on landfill sites, they are fighting to be part of the waste management system,” said Mr Simon Mbata, representative of the South African Waste Pickers Association (SAWPA) at a workshop debate hosted by the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA) in Midrand last week.  Having seen firsthand how effectively waste is being managed by informal waste pickers in Brazil recently, Mbata strongly believes that separation of waste at source (household level) is the way forward for the waste industry. “This too is the solution being advocated in the Recycling Industry’s Waste Management Plan that is currently being developed,” said Mr Andrew Marthinusen of the Packaging Council of South Africa (PACSA). Marthinusen accompanied Mbata on the recent fact finding trip to Brazil.

Waste pickers, as they have been dubbed, are individuals who make an independent living reclaiming recyclable waste from the waste stream, predominantly from landfill sites, and selling it on to recycling companies. An estimated 88,000 South Africans currently earn a living in this way. Waste picking offers individuals a means to make a living regardless of age, level of education or skills set. A basic understanding of what is recyclable is required but this is gained through working experience.

“The reason that the waste pickers are there is clear,” says Dr Suzan Oelofse, Chairman of the IWMSA. “A lot of recyclable and reuseable waste is entering the waste stream due to South Africa’s current waste disposal strategies. This waste is valuable and if reclaimed, can earn collectors up to R120 per day. Many waste pickers have evolved into entrepreneurs by finding creative ways to re-use waste, such as by building dog kennels out of discarded wood or potting and reselling discarded plants.

“Having waste pickers on a landfill site has it’s pros and cons for the site operator,” says Mr Frans Dekker, Functional Head of Landfill Management Operations for City of Tshwane. “They contribute to waste reduction on the site and can be extra eyes, if trained, to look out for illegal dumping activities and criminal behaviour. They assist the public with offloading waste and can help out during strikes as they did recently. However, having waste pickers on a landfill site means more people for the site operator to manage and slower turnaround time on waste processing. The personal safety of the waste pickers themselves is also an ongoing risk. Many sites feel that their public image may be tarnished by the presence of waste pickers,” Dekker explains. “But these waste pickers are always going to be there and it is important for landfill sites to have their cooperation as far as possible. Waste pickers also need to be encouraged to manage themselves via a representative committee, a process that has started in City of Tshwane during 2002.” Dekker continues.

However, the existence of these waste pickers and their prevalence on landfill sites has become an increasing concern for the site operators as landfill sites are a dangerous environment and accidents arising on the site can become the responsibility of the site operator. This was highlighted by Mr Leon Grobbelaar from Interwaste in his presentation that discussed the liabilities that a site could face if something goes wrong. Enviro-Fill, an Interwaste subsidiary, was sued for R5 million by an informal waste picker that was injured accidentally whilst collecting waste informally on an Enviro-Fill operated landfill site. The legal action was instituted in spite of measures being put in place by Enviro-Fill to reduce the risks to the health and safety of the waste pickers. “Recycling should be done before waste reaches the landfill site,” says Grobbelaar. “I don’t believe that a landfill site is the right place for the waste pickers to operate.”

Waste pickers may be perceived by the uninformed as poor, dirty, uneducated and dangerous individuals and yet they are hard working, fiercely independent, self motivated people who bring with them a wealth of knowledge about the waste management stream and recyclable products. It is imperative that they be considered and included in future waste management plans and it is encouraging that the waste management industry seems to be doing this. It is clear that there is room for improvement in the working conditions of waste pickers and in the way waste is currently being managed but it is also clear that the waste management industry is actively tackling this challenge and while there is still a lot of work to be done and discussions to be had the outlook is predominately positive.

The IWMSA have recognised that the forum for more discussions around these issues is necessary and as such will be planning more workshops in the near future.

The IWMSA is a professional, multi disciplinary organisation with voluntary membership established to promote the science and practice of waste management and is a non-profit organisation. For more information contact the IWMSA visit:

Who is the greenest of them all?

Industries across KwaZulu Natal are invited to enter the prestigious Waste Management Awards 2012.

The Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA)’s KwaZulu Natal branch in conjunction with the the Department of Agriculture, Environmental Affairs and Rural Development (DAEARD) are delighted to launch the Waste Management Awards for 2012 and are challenging companies across KwaZulu Natal to see who is the greenest in the Province.

Pat Reddy, the Chairman of the IWMSA KZN Branch says, “we are encouraging organisations throughout KZN to enter the Waste Management Awards for 2012. With the increased pressure on companies to comply with the New Waste Act and to be environmentally more conscious, we see the Waste Management Awards as a great way to share good ideas, get recognition for hard work and celebrate environmental action.” Reddy continues, “Very often the focus is on what is wrong in the environment. The IWMSA and DAEARD will be focussing on what is right by rewarding environmentally-conscious organisations.”

Reddy adds, “the aim of the awards is to celebrate organisations’ green credentials by paying tribute to the great and green. In 2010 the competition was of a very high standard with many deserving entrants and we hope that even more of KwaZulu Natal’s leading businesses will enter this year to stand a chance of receiving recognition for their sustainable practices. We are challenging all the organizations to set an example for the rest of South Africa.”

Reddy continues, “These awards aren’t about creating winners and losers. Everyone that is working towards a greener life is instantly a winner. We feel that these awards are a fitting way to recognise those organisations that really are trying to make a difference to the environment in the course of their day-to-day business.”

The main objectives of the awards are to promote responsible practice in the use of resources and environmental management, to encourage the waste hierarchy (3 R’s – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) as well as to encourage alternative methods to avoid overfill at landfill sites.

The bi-annual Waste Management Awards aim to recognize businesses of all sizes and sectors, employing good environmental practice in their daily activity, while also making significant financial savings.

Organisations are invited to attend the launch function of the Waste Management Awards that will be taking place at the Premier Hotel in Pinetown on 28 July 2011 from 08:00 – 11:00. Last year’s winners in the various categories will be at the launch and share their experiences of taking part in the awards.  Companies will get a chance to interact with these companies and will also be guided on what the requirements are for entering the 2012 competition.  There are different categories that can be entered including Chemical, Service and General Industries – more information will be made available at the launch.

The judging includes a site visit and audit by professional members of the IWMSA, as well as employees of the DAEARD and other government departments.

The IWMSA is a professional, multi-disciplinary organisation with voluntary membership established to promote the science and practice of waste management and is a non-profit organization. For more information contact the IWMSA’s KwaZulu Natal branch at: (031) 564 2795, e-mail: or visit,

Learners go Wild for Animals at Giraffe House

Many learners across the Cape have never seen or experienced the beauty of our Province; something many of us take for granted. In a bid to create awareness of our country's unique and diverse range of wildlife, Peninsula Beverage Company (PenBev) has entered into a collaboration with The Giraffe House Wildlife Awareness Centre (Giraffe House), situated just off the N1 between Muldersvlei and Stellenbosch.

Giraffe House hosts school visits to their facility which encourages learners to discover the wonders of South Africa's wildlife and even a chance to interact with a few of them. With Giraffe House's mobile unit they are able to reach even more learners. Denise Green, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at PenBev indicated, "There are many leaners in less fortunate areas across Cape Town that may never get an opportunity to see the wonders of our Country; we can't expect the youth to 'look after the environment' if they don't know what it is they are supposed to look after.

We at PenBev are delighted to form this collaboration with Giraffe House and introduce learners across Cape Town to the wonders of nature."

Werner Fourie, Director of Giraffe House and previously a lecturer in Conservation at Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), is passionate about conservation and about educating our youth about the importance of our wildlife. The talks are entertaining and fun, which Fourie believes is essential for the learners to retain information. Fourie says,

"I developed the concept for the Giraffe House after some rural children had pointed to a couple of giraffe that we were transporting at the time and they had asked what type of lions they were. It really concerned me that the children of Africa did not know about this animal that is so unique to us.

Not having the exposure or experience of wild animals could lead to misunderstanding and subsequent irrational fears and even abuse of these animals."

"These children are our future cabinet ministers and members of parliament and our potential future conservationists. We need to instil in them a sense of environmental responsibility while they are still young."

The sessions are started off with an introduction of the Big Five and relating them to South Africa's currency, thereby allowing learners to recognise what they are looking at on our bank notes and coins. Learners also get to learn that South Africa is the home to everything from the tallest animal in the world - the giraffe, the largest bird - the ostrich, the smallest antelope - the blue duiker, the oldest animal - the Nile crocodile etc.

Reptiles also form an important element when learning about South Africa's wildlife. Fourie explains that there are good and bad snakes, that one shouldn't fear and randomly kill any reptiles as they all play an important role in our delicate eco system. During the session, learners (and even teachers!) get an opportunity to interact with the reptiles, and even get a chance to overcome their fears by meeting a python up close and personal.

Giraffe House is open seven days a week from 09:00 to 17:00 and can be contacted on 021 884 4506 or e-mail > . For more information visit <>

PenBev is committed to supporting educational outings of this nature which contribute towards a more thorough understanding of our environment as a whole. PenBev is an independent bottling company that holds the rights to manufacture and distribute the products of The Coca-Cola Company within the Western and Northern Cape.

For more information, contact PenBev on: 021 936 5500 or visit <>